The Frogs

began in earnest 1980-- played 5 "warm-up" shows t' get our feet wet @ uw-milwaukee --open mike etc. --rocked 'em/knew we were ready and moved on-- to the starship (downtown milw. nightclub)- initially had a small but loyal "skate punk" following- that didn't last-- from june '80 to oct '80 we went through half a dozen changes stylistically- sound scaping faster than our audience could keep up w/-- 1. guitar (electric), drums (3)- floor tom, snare and cymbal 2. guitar (electric), drums (3)- floor tom, snare and cymbal, drum machine, washing machine etcetera- after halloween '80 we decided we wouldn't play live again until our set consisted of all originals-- and we set out to do just that-- then sometime in '82 jim wrote the "death songs".... to be continued... backtrack--we were never a folk-rock duo-- we were drums and wires-- drums and electric guit. from the get go-- and we rocked the hell out of donovan, beatle ballads, cohen, nursery rhymes etc.- an eclectic mix as i say from the start-- although what must be stated up front is that-- for all intents and purposes-when we got the group together in 1980, to our eyes/ears- rock was already dead-- but we decided to throw in our two cents worth anyway- so we started playing live-mastering the stage as we went-becoming our own be(a)st friend in the process - the perfect unit/ensemble ala beatles, stones whohaveyou and that was that-- also taking the piss out of every (pretentious) bitch/witch/bastard who happened along the way needing bringing down a rung or tongue or two or three or for that matter/fatter four...2 beat contin(you)ed for u and me(et)... backtracking... the death songs-- as stated previously (obviously) the songs were about death-starting with (i've locked you in my) dungeon there were about a dozen others including hades high school and satan's in the manger to mention two of the more well known- we recorded them in our then apartment when dr. malmac wasn't home above t' complain-his loss--then when we had arrangements down for 6 of these we took them live to little or no notice-no matter--if songs could kill...remember d****s better not bitter-we continued onward and upward-what other way was there really--couldn't build a following to save our ass(ets)-like pulling teeth out of a camel's ass(et)- almost like CASSette is it not?-god i've not revealed much- let the mystery be-y' had t' be(et)(red) there and you weren't-where were you just when i needed you most sheryl crow?--back to the rant(semi) -we employed fog and flash (as opposed to flesh) pots in the early days to jack up the energy live- live as in live performance- specifically '83,'84,'85-- but as always the songs came first-the comedy second- continue it yerself...yes mam---i mean mammy-i mean mammyogram- o' if burning crosses could only talk-should we/i discuss the "black album" aka racially yours--the frogs apparently should have injected the lp w/a bit more humour acccording to the fistlicks- i mean critics/ fans and 4 eyed pen/cock weilding fux alike-- r yours was never intended to be a "novelty" record w/a message ala "r & n"- for that matter 'R & N" was not a comedy lp- we ourselves were immune to the lyrics on 'right & natural"-we didn't bust a gut listening to it- if anything we listened to the "MUSIC" on the record-- anychute back to r.mine-- initially racially yours was a 14 song lp in length (that's what she said)- and for reasons i cannot recall i continued onward and upward w/the recording of 11 more trax- beg. w/revolution and ending w/uncle sam loves u-- i/we knew it was an imperfect beast in excess of 60 minutes but i couldn't bear to shelve the remaining 11 tracks--so we released it as such-- i had wanted to send it out into the"marketplace" as 2 separate discs-- the first lp to be titled "racially yours" (14 tracks) and the other 11 songs on disc 2 "racially mine"-- never came to fruition because no one would put it out/release it--had we the $ to self-release it on vinyl... would have come out in '93-- a pleasant aural pastoral reading for the most part- we/i tried to inject as much beauty/soul into the overdubs as possible and i think we/i suckseeded fer the least part--for the most part please refer to "it's only right and natural" --an effortless best/beast to make and not a struggle at all unlike RACIALLY YOURS-- still r.yours does have its momentz i must sAys-like willie mAys, so grandma sAys- she didn't...grandpa did--the duty--and there go i...end for now...luv on ya...continuing this diatribe now, let's see what's to be said about "right & natural" aka "it's only right and natural" our "2nd" lp--- well, it's the type of thing that happens really only once in a "career/carear" musical "careera" that is- which we've never had really (insert tears here-insert something here- that's what she said) -'twas 14 songs worth of full on immersion into right on hedonism w/tongue firmly represented in the cheek (and not) and beyond-- once again a pastoral folky little record shoved through and thru w/ditty upon ditty upon ditty of sexual supremacy xxx style and of the mono kind apparently- which apparently wound some people upwards and outwards-- with this one boisterous little record ALL the controversy (read Kontroversee) re: the frogs began--- as stated previosly above "a perfect beast" effortlessly created on the spot w/overdubs fleshing the frame out later- the songs were "made-up" spontaneously on the spot-in this case our then living room- warning: this record WILL get stuck in yer head-- and yes, with THOSE lyrics... you have been forwarned- four warmed or somesing like zat-- thank you eva (gabor) i didn't know you cared and/or were still alive to give a shite- yes there is a bit of the old irish in me--- and everyone (that's what he said one final time)-- oh by the bi next time u give a listen to "r & n" try to hear the actual MUSIC/MUZAK on it- it IS there if u listen HARD (said with dylan stress) enough-- enuf sayeth me(ek)- it is the crown of our creation-- yes, JA did rock hard!... soft from me now-done... my daughter the broad-- mudhoney's latest had just come out titled my brother the cow and my mind took it from there --- i made-up at least 150 other titles for the lp but first is best so "broad" stuck--- an lp consisting of 22 made-up songs -- a best of in a sense-- an imperfect perfection only because it's too long-- should've made it 14 songs ala 'right and un-natural' but at the time honestly the way things weren't going "carearwise" we thought it might be our last-- contains some classics-- 'the goat' etc.-- god what a self-congratulatory b i am-- well somebody's got to toot my own c (as in hot c annie) and it mighty as(s) (s)well be(at) me-- shot the cover meself- god i'm irish again and i love it- love THIS fist-- and so i end (again) only t' fight another "friend" another day(z)--- talk about your poetry/your art-- dang it my art is so arty it hurtssss (like a snake/virgin/what have yous)--like a kurdtz-- well it rhymed anyweight....(spring '86) we began work on what was to become our 1st lp-- our eponymous debut-- the first day at the studio (a commercial jingles facility) saw the completion of 2 songs "funhouse" (live version) and "what the trouble was" ---we said to ourselves (and no one in particular) "this record is going to be a breeze"-- a "breeze"?--- well the lp wasn't a breeze at all/et al. it was a record-you know- fraught w/sounds/music/muzak what have u/we-- and w/that the real work began/begat/becat (not a word- but the claws did cum out) and what real work it 'twas-- a labour uv luv-- that did not turn out as we had envisioned it and, uv course/curse various songs were jettisoned in favour of others along/lung the way in an effort/afront t' prove our genius/genus (one of the 2)-- but in the end we, after much toil/foil/soil and yes trouble/stubble/bubble, finished it--polished off the beat/beast and were sadly saddened/satin disapponted/annointed when the 1000 lps arrived by post and were thenceupon heaped upon the corner of our then vainglorious living room where they then sat/spat/leaned and ultimatedly stood in silent defiance up against the wall in anticipation of future worldwide emancipation/domination-- but, as you know, failure is a righteous mighty teacher---and all our little/big hopes and dreams came to naught--"some who suckceeded and some who suffered in vain" ray d--postscript/post it to this story/sophmoric poetry---when i met kurdt c 6 months before HIS sad demise he said that he'd been searching high and wide for our eponymous/hippoponymous debut for 2 years gay/straight--- i felt somehow somewhat strangely vaguely vindicated that all our bob(you may know him as robert) johnson's love HADN'T been in vain-- "k"could have saved himself the trouble had he just come over to our house i would have gladly given him a free one -for a small fee that is --hey we had to recoup the $17,000 somehow/somewhere my love --are you more familiar with dr. zhivago or dr. malmac's work?... continuing the namedropping(s) jim o'rourke says our 1st is one of his faves as well/welt... and yet and so the stinging continues still- u work on YOUR own issues a-hole and leaf mine alone---you better/bitter leave my kitten/kitaen alone...or else/elsie you KNOW where the tissue goes---anything goes/everything's toast...full moon or what?...holy &/or unholy fist it's been a bit of a bit since i've entered in hasn't it? well retartless--onto a frag of the stag that the "starjob" ep was/is-- 'twas never intended as an ep for starters/openers---relevant info: 4 of the songs were completed 1/94 (3 days and not counting at soundworks, chi) and the final 2 'stars'-starboy and stargirl made their way onto 8 track cassette at bc's house/home upstairs dec '94-- one day to mix said tracks jan '95 and...voila--- the job of the stars made flesh--- no it wasn't about kurdt you dumb shitz/fux--- but as oe (operator error said) "you can't polish a turd" ---released 1997 as an afterthought by the"company-by the "man"-little known fact "jesus doesn't love me" was a consideration for this ep along with a few other unmentionables--once/twice/thrice again way too one d for my/our liking-unfortunately the hookiest songs chosen just happened to be about...you guessed it "STARS"--- jrf fronted the nonexistent "budget"--wish it was an lp-6 out of 12- that's what he/she got/had...hadn't my baby (paul anka style)-plantation days are back...again......hoptart lollifart sunray surf/rise aka hopscotch lollipop sunday surprise- our last 12" release (2001)---i carried that beast on my back 3 years & counting ala mode jc cross style--- begged and borrowed (begged part of my as(k) off)-- heavenly helped along the path to lp completion by st bjorn, salt lake charles and jdh of chicago fame (also british christ of halloween band fame added 2 cents worth on a few [bear and better than g] not to mention demoing "longing" and guit solo on his namesake)--- this release initially began as an aids concept lp (a double in fact- 30 songs t' rival beatles white album)- i let myself get talked out of that idea by st b and cb in reverse when it was explained to me that the public (once again) just won't "get it" - so we threw the controversy out with the bathwater and that begat the sugary confection of lesser impact (a)ka poprat mollifat (well she was plump anyway) sumppump pollyrump sundae surmise--- initial idea much mother superior to the safer release it eventually becomed (yes, even as poppy and hooky and gooey [and some say 'dark'] as it ultimately was)---an easter beaster record of mild import is the final word...we hit that record full blast virginia --full blast!!!...back to it namely i forgots to talks abouts the lp in which we ban the animals or rather bananimals- really just meaning crazy as in bananas was what the lp title meant. as for the content- more unreleased made-up songs from z frogs- from z vaults not ala phy ed though-- you know the vault, parallel bars etc.-- the fire department label in chi town released this one with such leftover/rightover classics as "love in the sand" "golden showers" "sailors board me now" et al for public consumption- w/japanese import mock cover art intact it was sure to be a hit -and it wasn't- thankx to me for the stuffed toy little horsie and to bobby b for the "koo koo" doll head employed on said lp cover--turns out "u bastards" really wasn't about us in the end anyway-- was it?...was it knots?...nots to my knowledges it wasn't (as in pheasant, as in throat stuck bent pleasant, as in 'this should have been referenced in the"broad" lp hitherto mentioned')...ultimately/intimately the disc was/is a piss offs/ons present -no it isn't- the cover is yellow though- as if chuck berry had left his calling card as opposed to g g leaving his...fur z muzik biz indeed....

IT'S ONLY RIGHT AND NATURAL review:

If Right and Natural isn't quite yet the White Light/White Heat of a new generation, it's getting close -- unknown upon release, venerated by multitudes of listeners and bands since all out of proportion to its public profile. The insane secret of the record is its perfect -- if not note-perfect -- combination of hooks, folky influences (especially from the U.K. -- "Baby Greaser George" is practically an acoustic T. Rex homage), and utterly outrageous, hilarious lyrics and stories. Nothing is sacred, but the methods used would probably frighten even Monty Python or South Park's creators at their prime. The centerpiece to everything is gay love, lust, and more at its most crazed -- song titles like "These Are the Finest Queen Boys I've Ever Seen" and the sweetly catchy celebration "Homos" help say it all. Right from the start, when Dennis Flemion slurs "I've got drugs...that'll blow your mind tonight...out of your mind tonight" on "Out of the Mist," things can't help but be more than gone. By the time the song gets to the priest with drug-filled lips, listeners will have decided whether to stay the course or get out while the getting's good. One definite fun point about Right and Natural is seeing how it influenced future artists. Beck sampled the double-tracked claim, "That was a good drum break" -- even though the break is audibly terrible -- from "I Don't Care if You Disrespect Me (Just So Long as You Love Me)" for "Where It's At." The Blake Babies, meanwhile, took the song title "Rosy Jack World" for an album, and so forth. What makes the album all the more grand is its ear for tenderness in unexpected areas -- "Been a Month Since I Had a Man" is gently melancholy, and more straightforward (if not straight) than anything else around it.

- Ned Raggett, AMG

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